By Cari Gervin
Community News Writer
Jay Simpson wants to make it clear that he is not in the bumper sticker business. He sells decals, mainly for industrial use.
Still, to the untrained eye, the rows and rows of decals stacked in his warehouse on Adams Road look a lot like, well, bumper stickers.
Mr. Simpson’s company Graphic Solutions just moved down the road to a new 11,000 sq. ft. facility a month ago. He said not all of the manufacturing equipment was ready, but even on a Friday afternoon, employees were busy silk-screening designs and packing decals.
Almost all of Mr. Simpson’s customers are corporate. He sells stickers that identify heavy equipment, stickers for automotive auctions and stickers to financial institutions all over the country. None of them have funny slogans.
Mr. Simpson started his business, which now employs around 30 people, in his garage in Hidden Harbor. He said he had just graduated from college and was working for his father’s advertising agency when he passed away.
The family sold the company. Mr. Simpson, then 21, was left with just his father’s side business that sold graphic products to only a few customers.
He started off selling decals and outsourcing the manufacturing, but soon he was up all night making the stickers himself to have a faster turnaround time. Within a few years, he had a burgeoning business.
Mr. Simpson is also a partner in Graphic Works in North Chattanooga and Nana’s Frozen Custard on Hixson Pike. But his first business is where he spends the most time.
“It’s a unique business,” Mr. Simpson admitted. “We do pretty much anything that sticks.”
When asked the best way to remove stuck-on stickers, Mr. Simpson looked perplexed.
“There are removers that you can buy ... with chemicals that will soften the adhesive,” Mr. Simpson said. “But we use a removable adhesive.”
He demonstrated, firmly sticking a decal on a table and then pulling it off. No residue remained.
Graphic Solutions’ residuals, however, stick pretty well.
E-mail Cari Gervin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Graphic Solutions, 4926 Adams Rd., can be reached at 876-9663.